Amid the Maharashtra-Karnataka border row, Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) leader and former state minister Aaditya Thackeray on Tuesday attacked Maharashtra Chief Minister Eknath Shinde saying he did not talk about the issue due to fear.
“We want a discussion on the Karnataka-Maharashtra border issue in State Assembly. We want to know what Maharashtra Chief Minister said in the meeting held in Delhi. Karnataka Chief Minister is aggressive on this issue but our Chief Minister does not want to talk about it due to fear,” Aaditya Thackeray told reporters here.
The first day of the winter session of the Maharashtra Legislative Assembly began with an uproar by the opposition, with MLAs of the Mahavikas Aghadi holding placards protesting on the Vidhan Bhavan premises over the Maharashtra-Karnataka border dispute.
MLAs of the Nationalist Congress Party (NCP), Congress and Shiv Sena (Uddhav Balasaheb Thackeray) joined the protest. Leader of Opposition Ajit Pawar raised the issue of the border dispute in the Assembly and said “A Lok Sabha member from Maharashtra has been stopped from entering Belgaum. In a meeting with Home Minister Amit Shah it was decided that no one would be stopped from going there, then how can the collector there take such a decision.”
Responding to the issue raised by Pawar, Chief Minister Eknath Shinde said, “For the first time the Home Minister of the country mediated the border dispute, he has taken this issue seriously, we have presented the side of the border residents to him, Amit Shah has had put forth his point in front of the border dispute, now there should be no politics on the border dispute, we should stand together with the border residents.”
Maharashtra Deputy Chief Minister Devendra Fadnavis aligned with CM Shinde’s remarks and said that the government will look into the matter.
Tension prevailed in the border areas of Belagavi on the Maharashtra Karnataka border after members of the Maharastra Ekikaran Samiti (MES) and Nationalist Congress Party staged a protest on Monday demanding they be allowed into Belagavi.
Belagavi Police denied permission to MES to conduct its Maha Melava at the Vaccine Depot ground in Tilakwadi and clamped prohibited orders in Tilakwadi Police Station jurisdiction. Section 144 has been imposed in the area and heavy security was deployed at the site of the MES convention which was scheduled to take place on the first day of the Winter Session of the Karnataka Assembly today.
According to police, Karnataka Chief Minister BS Bommai has made it clear that no ministers from Maharashtra will be allowed entry into Belagavi.
The Maharastra Ekikaran Samiti also known as the Maharashtra Integration Committee staged a protest after authorities in Karnataka denied permission to allow a few leaders from Maharashtra into Belagavi. Supporters of MES claim that Belagavi belongs to Maharashtra and should be given to Maharashtra.
The border dispute between Maharashtra and Karnataka goes back to the implementation of the State Reorganization Act, of 1956. The then Maharashtra government had demanded the readjustment of its border with Karnataka. Following this, a four-member committee was formed by both states.
The Maharashtra government had expressed willingness to transfer 260 predominantly Kannada-speaking villages, but the proposal was turned down by Karnataka. Both governments later approached the Supreme Court to expedite the matter.